This National Veterans and Military Families Month, Salem State Veterans’ Affairs Manager Theodore Serozynsky talks about the important role of the VA office and how it helps student veterans at the university.
What is the Veterans’ Affairs office and how does it support student veterans at Salem State?
The Office of Veterans’ Affairs at Salem State not only assists with state and federal educational benefit programs but also provides students with resources and services to ease the transition from military to civilian life.
An example of this would be partnering with the Department of Veteran Affairs’ VITAL (Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership), which brings VA social workers onto campus to assist student veterans with enrolling into the VA Healthcare system, or any other challenges they may face.
How many student veterans does the Salem State Veterans' Affairs Office serve?
At Veterans’ Affairs, we serve more than 300 military-connected students on campus, including recent veterans, National Guard and reservists, and the family members of veterans and active-duty service members.
What benefits do student veterans have at Salem State, aside from their federal educational benefits?
Student veterans at Salem State can receive an application fee waiver, priority registration, access to a fully staffed Student Veterans Center, a Veteran Learning Community for First Year Students, and a Chapter of Student Veterans of America.
What types of programs can student veterans access through Veterans Affairs at Salem State?
Our Office of Veterans’ Affairs administers roughly seven educational benefit programs:
Post-9/11 GI Bill (also known as Chapter 33)
Veteran Readiness and Employment (also known as Chapter 31)
The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30)
The Montgomery Selected Reserve GI Bill (Chapter 1606)
Dependents Educational Assistance (Chapter 35)
And because we are in Massachusetts, student veterans can receive a National Guard Tuition and Fee Waiver and the Massachusetts State Categorical Tuition Waiver for Veterans.
Are there annual events or traditions for student veterans at Salem State?
While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted some of our annual traditions in recent years, we typically host the following welcoming and enrichment events for student-veterans:
Veteran-specific welcome event at the beginning of the year
Veterans’ Day Luncheon
Enrichment events throughout the year, such as learning about Service Animals, applying for service-connected injuries with the Disabled American Veterans, or professional development/networking
A Graduation Stole Ceremony
The Veterans' Second Mission Fund has been established through the generosity of donors Neal DeChillo, PhD and Mary H. DeChillo, MSW. The fund will provide financial support to the veterans' affairs office and its mission to enhance the educational experience of student veterans at Salem State. Visit our website to learn more or make a gift.